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Pirates capture Greek cargo ship off Tanzania

Athens: Pirates seized a Greek cargo ship with its Ukrainian and Philippine crew off the east African country of Tanzania Thursday, writes AFP quoting the Greek port police. The Delvina, which had a cargo of wheat, was heading for Mombasa, Kenya from the Mediterranean when it was captured 280 nautical miles east of the Tanzanian coast.

The European Union's naval mission to the region said the crew numbered 14 Filipinos and seven Ukrainians. The vessel "has now turned around and is heading north," said a statement by EU-NAVFOR. "The ship is approximately 300 miles southeast of Mombasa." Police had no contact with the ship after the crew sent out an alert.

The ship owned by Athens-based Midway Shipping and Trading flies a Marshall Islands flag.

Another Panamanian-flagged Greek ship, Theophoros I, was attacked early Thursday in the Gulf of Aden but the pirates were driven off. The Theophoros I continued its route to Hong Kong escorted by two warships of the anti-piracy international force in the area. Greek authorities said the crew used high-pressure hoses against the pirates, but a Turkish military official said later the Turkish warship Gediz averted the attack.

A military statement said five pirates were trying to attack the Theophoros which belongs to Greek company Good Faith. The Turks seized weapons including a rocket launcher, it added. The incident happened 125 kilometres (about 80 miles) off the coast.  [06/11/09]

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